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Update from Defra on the environmental land management schemes

Date Published: 06/01/2022

Today (6th January 2022), following the Environment Secretary’s speech to the Oxford Farming Conference outlining more information on our new environmental land management schemes, we published three new documents called:

The Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery documents provide more detail on the two schemes, following the Sustainable Farming Incentive update published on 2 December. They include information on eligibility, timings and what we are likely to pay for through them. The overview document sets out our environment and climate ambitions for these three new, complementary environmental land management schemes. 

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Farmers will be able to enter into both the Sustainable Farming Incentive and Local Nature Recovery schemes, building an agreement that works for them. Landscape Recovery agreements will be bespoke and designed to align with other public or private funding, whether from Sustainable Farming Incentive and Local Nature Recovery or other sources.

The new documents build on previous publications, such as the Agricultural Transition Plan, its update in June 2021, and the Environment Secretary’s speech in December 2021.

We also encourage farmers and land managers to look again at Countryside Stewardship. Following a review, we will increase the majority of payment rates with effect from January 2022 and make improvements to how the scheme operates. We plan to open the 2023 offer in February 2022 (for agreements starting in 2023).

Some payment rates have stayed the same and rates for a minority of options have reduced – because in these cases costs have gone down. For these options, we will apply the reduced rates to new agreements starting from 1 January 2023. Here is a table of the full payment rate changes. This will be the final review of Countryside Stewardship revenue payment rates.